Why does Upwork reject my profile immediately after submission? Get the Insights and Solutions you need.

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Hello there,

Why does Upwork reject my profile immediately after submission?

“We’ve reviewed the updated skills and experience you added to your profile. Unfortunately, our marketplace does not have opportunities for you based on your combination of skills and experience and we will not be able to accept your registration. We thank you for your interest.”

Does the message above sound familiar? Have you had your Upwork profile rejected? Maybe, maybe not. If you haven’t experienced this, wait for it, it’s coming.

Newbie: You are psyched up, your heart is racing for the new opportunities that await you. You’ve seen how your friends are making some decent income. Hiding away during the day and night, leading a nocturnal life.
This is not some Illuminati, drug peddling or thug life that leaves neighbors wondering what you do, it is working online and since you are a newbie you want to jump onto the wagon.

Bonus: Why is Upwork Suspending Freelancer Accounts?

It pains me that instant Upwork profile rejection has become the norm with newbies not getting a chance to showcase their skills. Newbies are in panic mode. I feel so sorry for y’all newbies. I really do.

Allow me to decipher what is going on.

Upwork is by far one of the best freelancing sites with awesome monetary returns for skilled freelancers all over the world.

I believe the number of newbies signing up is in the thousands if not hundreds of thousands per month. This in mind, Upwork started limiting the number of freelancers signing up by the use of bots – ever heard of some automated forms of artificial intelligence – Welcome to the new world.

To cut the long story short, profiles of new freelancers are going through some rigorous review by either bots or Upwork Support (that is just happy to reject new profiles) but mostly by bots.

I am almost getting to the solutions but I cannot do that without letting you into what motivates me, cheese.

Have you ever read or listened to the book, Who moved my cheese? I love the audio version of it. Upwork for freelancers has become some sort of “cheese” with recent price changes and of course this profile rejection “thingy”.

Times are changing and we must adapt to the changes that are encroaching on this awesome platform.

What is the way forward?

I would like to point out that some of the methods below are ethical while some violate the terms and conditions of Upwork. I am not liable for any “Upwork Wrath” that befalls you if you result in the Grey Hat method discussed here.

Let’s dive in:

A. White Hat Methods:

This focuses on getting your profile approved legally by either completing your profile in its entirety, getting a client to hire you, joining an agency or contacting support to help you fix the mess.

  1. Ensure that for any new account you sign up for (you are only required to own one freelance account)- complete the profile to its entirety before submitting it. Why? The minute the bots they have in place detect your profile is incomplete, it will never ever be accepted by the automated system. Here are some Tips and Tricks to creating a client converting Upwork Profile.
  2. Contact Upwork Help and Support if you believe that your profile is complete and they will sort out the issue – I am not sure if they approve profiles after they have been rejected by bots but I believe they do.
  3. Get a client that is already on Upwork, to hire you and your profile will almost automatically get approved. – Remember the bots I mentioned – they will auto-approve your profile once this is done.
  4. Once your profile is rejected the first time probably due to incompleteness, give yourself at least 2 weeks, populating your profile with relevant content i.e. writing a rock-solid overview, taking relevant skills test with a bias for English tests (clients want freelancers that will read, communicate and understand their requirements), add relevant portfolio samples (my recommendation is at least 5–10 samples) before resubmitting the profile. I have noticed that once you give your profile time to populate it, it gets accepted the next time you re-submit for review.
  5. Join an already existing Agency – This works instantly and personally I would recommend that veteran freelancers set up agencies on Upwork and then let newbie freelancers join them, only when they believe that the freelancers are skilled enough to avoid under-cooked skills for clients all over. Getting a client to hire you or joining an agency is recommended by Upwork as one of the ways to get new profiles accepted. This would be your best shot to having Upwork registration accepted.

B. Grey Hat Methods:

I call these grey hat tactics because they violate the rules are regulations of Upwork and their Terms and conditions and involve submitting fake information just to get your profile accepted and then you revert to what you wanted your profile to be.

I would not try this. I do not advocate for this. It is what it is. Please read Upwork’s Terms and Conditions before trying out any method discussed below.

  1. Enter your sign up location to that of a freelancer from an English Speaking Country (Native Speaker) – Upwork is getting biased with the freelance pool that is being accepted on their platform and this is limiting freelancers from English as a Second language countries. This is something that I have seen newbies use with Instant results.
  2. Create a profile with the In-demand skills as pointed out by Upwork. This should work as they are encouraging more freelancers not to sign up with flooded skills set e.g. writing, data entry, etc. Once your profile is accepted, revert to what you wanted your profile to be in the first place.

    Disclaimer: I do not advocate for any of the Grey hat methods indicated. I am straight but when our “cheese” is moved, we must adapt.

    The path to getting any new profiles accepted on Upwork is tortuous but doable. Apply whatever method you feel works for you and if you need further insights, I have some content/videos that can help you kickstart your roadmap to Upwork success.

    Do you have any more solutions to the problems that freelancers are running into on Upwork? Let us know in the comments below.

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52 thoughts on “Why does Upwork reject my profile immediately after submission? Get the Insights and Solutions you need.”

      • I am a newbie. Unfortunately, I have become one of the victims whose profile has been suspended. Do you think that there is a chance for me with up work in the future?

    • Thank you sir. I am a newbie. I want a crack at the writing world’s very badly. Your blog entry made me feel better and less critical of myself.

  1. Great article,
    I have been a freelancer at Upwork from the time it was oDesk.
    I am also reading some of your posts on how to pull it as an Upwork freelancer.
    I will just mention that one disadvantage with fecking the country of origin is when you are invited for an interview via Skype and probably this would be a mega project running for a whole Year.

      • Hi Devid my profile is active now but with an agency. is it possible to make it without an agency? what is your suggestion for people who is working with an agency? thanks

        • Hi Sam,
          Agencies are good especially when clients are in need of freelancers with an agency.

          My recommendation would be that you focus on getting contract work that needs an agency to handle and once you start getting jobs and feedback, this will also reflect on your freelancer profile.

          Once that’s available you can now apply for work using your profile.

  2. If i have a client on upwork and he want me to come on upwork and work for him though my account not getting approved then ,wht the other way

    • Have you tried asking the client to invite you to his/her job posting? If yes and you are still getting the error, contact Upwork Support and inform them that you want to work with your client on Upwork but your account is not being approved and they will approve it.

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Thank you David sir for sharing this valuable information with us. before this was really disappointed but now i am pretty much sure that now there much more chances of getting my profile accepted.

  4. Thanks David for your Tips! I ‘m reading your article after my profile was rejected. I wish I did it before )) I will use all recommendation about White Hat, hope it will help

  5. yo man how can i join an agency? really need this kind of work im like 15hours on web daily doing nothing. please help man i want to be productive , plus the income would really help.

  6. Hi David, your recommendations are very helpul! I have a question.
    I knew about upwork looking for someone to help me with a web page, so I created an upwork account as a client, now after knowing how the tool works I would like to becoume a freelancer, is it possible to have the same account (as a client and as a freelancer)? or is it possible to have two different accounts and link them? Does it help in order to be aprobed by upwork?

  7. Sir,
    With due respect and humble submission, I have the honour to inform you that, I have been facing the same problem since a couple of days. I have updated my profile many times but still no positive result.
    I would request you kindly to help me in order to get the required approval.
    I would remain grateful to you for this act of kindness.
    Thank you.

  8. David,

    Now a days upwork is rejecting all new freelancers account…please let me know what to do now ?

    I’ve one new profile. can i make it as agency and added 4-5 more profiles as freelancers ?


  9. This is soooo encouraging not to add the fact that you are a vet. Am a vet too, recently graduated. Thanks for the great advice.

  10. Oh my God! This is awesome, found it while I was on the verge of giving up on Upwork..My profile was rejected last week bt this time around I got this!
    Once more, thank you, sir.

  11. Thank you for this David. Upwork can be a tough nut to crack and the rejection can be frustrating especially when you are qualified to offer excellent service. How do i join an agency if my profile gets rejected.

  12. Hi David,
    Great information.
    How do i write a cover letter that will impress a client? I have done so many proposals and i have not yet won a bid.

  13. Hi David,
    I have tried tried all the ‘While Hat Methods’ listed in your post but unfortunately have been getting rejected by Upwork consistently. I have even passed the Upwork readiness test. I also joined an Agency but nothing works. This is frustrating because I am have been a successful freelancer with an excellent track record.

    I guess what works against me is the fact that I am from a non-English speaking country.

    • Hi Roy,
      Sorry for your experience.

      Depending on your profile, Upwork probably has a lot of freelancers in that field. That could be one reason why you’re not getting approved.
      I’d recommend you try and niche down or diversify your skills to less competitive fields.

      Alternatively, you can get a client offline and have them hire you on Upwork to get your profile approved.

      Kindly try that.

  14. Thanks, will try your suggestion and niche down. Getting a client to hire me on Upwork hasn’t worked because Upwork does not allow clients to hire me saying this freelancer is not available for hire.


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